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7 Morning Habits to Increase Your Productivity For the Day

7 Morning Habits to Increase Your Productivity For the Day

There is a lot of advice online about being more productive and time management apps are popping up by the day. This is because more people than ever are facing sleep deprivation and often insomnia, due to the ease of access to communication tools and technology. Sleep is one of the most important things in our lives as it can increase our learning speed, helps us remember more information, and allow us to be happier individuals in general.

But… the biggest bottleneck that few of us attempt to improve is our morning habits. If you want to become more productive and effective during your day, then you need to optimize your morning habits. How we structure and spend the first few hours of each day will determine how the rest of our day will play out, and how effective we can be in our lives.

Luckily, there are simple and easy-to-implement habits that you can do today to increase your productivity for the day, and for the rest of your life.

1. Wake up next to sunlight

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    Studies have shown that those lacking sleep and suffering from insomnia is mostly due to artificial light confusing our internal clocks. When a group of individuals suffering from sleep deprivation went on a camping trip without exposure to artificial light or alarm clocks, their sleep inertia rapidly disappeared within days.

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    The conclusion from researchers was that the best way to fall sleep sleep and improve the quality of your sleep is to be next to natural sunlight, which is also helpful for waking up in the morning naturally.

    2. Meditate

    There’s a lot of advice online on how to approach meditation, and it can seem overwhelming to someone who’s never experienced it. The truth is: there’s no one way to meditate. Everyone has a different approach.

    While the methods of meditation vary, the benefits are clear. Meditation reduces our anxiety levels, increases our productivity, and even improves our memoriesStudies have shown that after a 20-minute meditation session, our brains are more focused and less distracted, which allows us to remove multi-tasking, achieve our goals for the day faster, and become a top performer.

    3. Automate your decisions

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      We only have so much willpower in a typical day. In order to effectively use our willpower towards the tasks that matter, it’s better to minimize the number of decisions we make in the morning. Most of us go through the same routines in the morning, but there are always routines we can automate.

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      Can you picking out your outfit before bedtime, eat the same breakfast each morning, waking up earlier to avoid route changes, and more? This may seem boring at first, but you’ll be surprised how morning automation can provide you the flexibility to be more productive and spontaneous throughout the rest of your day.

      4. The “One Thing”

      According to Gary Keller, the author of The One Thing, the best way to prioritize our never ending to-do lists is to pick “the Domino Effect”. The Domino Effect is when a task that you complete or an action you take, will make everything else on your list easier to complete or even unnecessary.

      For example, if your goal is to learn Spanish before travelling to South America this year, is it worth paying a $1,000 to go to a language school for 3 months to learn everything about the language? Or is it better to focus your time, energy, and money on learning the common Spanish phrases you’ll use with a native speaking professional teacher from South America for less than $150? The second is the right choice.

      Take a look at your to-do list. How necessary or important are each of the tasks in achieving your end goals? Then pick only one from the list that will create a Domino Effect for you, and block out time on your calendar to achieve it.

      5. Do the hardest thing first

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        As we mentioned before, most human beings (unless you’re Elon Musk), have a limited amount of willpower, creativity, and energy in a day. This study done on the human brain shows that our prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain responsible for creativity, is the most active when we wake up. This explains why creatives, such as writers or designers, do their best work early in the morning upon waking up.

        If this is true, then we must organize our morning schedule to do the hardest, if not the most creative task first thing in the morning. This allows us to most effectively use our brain capabilities and free up brain space to complete tasks that require less creativity or willpower throughout the rest of the day, such as editing, sending emails, phone calls, etc.

        6. Prepare the night before

        While this is a post about morning habits, how we spend our night has a massive impact on our productivity the following day. The biggest impact is preparation. Before you head off to bed, take 15-20 minutes to pick your most important tasks and schedule them in your calendar. The reason why scheduling is so important is because you can manage for time and how long a single task will take, which is very difficult to do on a typical to-do list.

        7. Hot and Cold Hydrotherapy

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          Although not common in North America, Cold and Hot Hydrotherapy is enjoyed not only as a luxury in Finland, but a necessity. Several studies show that hot and cold hydrotherapy has multiple benefits for our health, including reduced stress, stronger immune system, increased ability to burn fat, and even fighting depression.

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          The method is rather simple. Simply shower and wash yourself the way you would normally in normal temperature water. Then, crank the nozzle to the coldest possible temperature and wait for 30 seconds. From there, crank the nozzle to the hottest possible temperature you can handle and hold for 30 seconds. And lastly, go back to cold temperature, and hold for 30 seconds.

          Fair warning: if you’re not used to shocking your body in the morning, this may be a difficult approach to adopt at first, but it becomes easier and easier over repetition, like most things. This wakes you up quickly and effectively.

          Now Your Turn

          Which of the morning routines we’ve outlined will you try out?
          What were your key takeaways from the morning routines of the successful?
          We’d love to hear it in the comments below.

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          Last Updated on June 13, 2019

          10 Best Success Books You Need to Read to Be Great at Business

          10 Best Success Books You Need to Read to Be Great at Business

          Take a minute and think about some of the most successful people you know.

          I’d bet they’re great with people, are super-productive, and think differently than most. After all, that’s how they got to be where they are today.

          Jealous of them? You don’t have to be.

          You can learn these same skills by studying some of the best business and success books that can help you take your game to the next level. Here’re 10 of my favorites:

          1. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

            Dale Carnegie’s best-selling book that helped to launch a personal growth empire should be required reading for everyone who wants to learn how to build and nurture relationships for a lifetime.

            Read this book and you’ll learn some simple advice than can help you build popularity points within your current network and just as important, expand it to others.

            Get the book here!

            2. Focal Point by Brian Tracy

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              Got a lot on your to-do list? Of course you do. But what separates productive people from others is their ability to focus on a singular task at a time, and getting it done before moving on to the next one.

              Sounds simple in theory, but this can be extremely difficult in practice. In Focal Point Brian Tracy offers tips to help build discipline and organization into your day so you can get more stuff done.

              Get the book here!

              3. Purple Cow by Seth Godin

                Creating a “me-too” product can be easy at the start but can doom you to business failure. That’s why marketing maverick Seth Godin recommends creating a product that is truly different from anything already available in the marketplace.

                In essence by making the product different you’ll be building the marketing into the actual product development…which just makes your actual marketing a helluva lot easier.

                Get the book here!

                4. The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz

                  If you’ve struggled with procrastination or small thinking, this is the book for you. In it Schwartz offers practical advice that can help you get inspired and motivated to create a bigger life for yourself. And with it can be a more lucrative and rewarding career.

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                  Get the book here!

                  5. Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankel

                    It can be difficult for lots of people to keep things in perspective, especially when working on high priority and urgent projects at work.

                    Man’s Search for Meaning can be a life-changing book in the sense that it can open your eyes to a first-hand experience of one of the greatest atrocities in the history of mankind, while also teaching a valuable lesson about having purpose.

                    Get the book here!

                    6. The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss

                      Solo-entrepreneurs can learn a ton from the guy who made lifestyle design popular. But guess what? The 4HWW isn’t just for guys and girls who want to start a small online business.

                      Smart moves like outsourcing, following the 80/20 rule, and automating processes should be made by entry-level workers and established executives alike.

                      Get the book here!

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                      7. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

                        I remember sitting on a couch and opening this book on a Saturday morning, thinking I’d get through a chapter and then get on with my day. Instead, about 12 hours later, I was finished with the book. The concepts in it were mind-blowing to me.

                        To think that thoughts can create your reality sounded a little far-fetched at first. But after going through the book and understanding that your thoughts create your beliefs, which lead to actions, which then lead to habits….well you can get where I’m going with this.

                        If you focus your thoughts on success, achieving it will be much more likely than thinking about obstacles, failures and everything else that can get in your way.

                        Get the book here!

                        8. The One Minute Manager by Kenneth Blanchard

                          If you’re going to read one management book in your life, this should be it. It’s simple. You can read it in an afternoon. And the advice works.

                          Get the book here!

                          9. The Lean Start-Up by Eric Ries

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                            Before you create any sort of business you’ll want to give Lean Start-Up a read through. Doing so can save you money, time and other resources you could have potentially wasted otherwise.

                            Get the book here!

                            10. The Monk and the Riddle by Randy Komisar

                              The story Randy Komisar shares in the Monk and the Riddle offers advice about not just about how you need to think when starting a new business, but also about how to build a life you’re passionate about.

                              Understanding the technical aspects of launching a start-up is great, but if you don’t have the staying power to stick with it when the going gets tough then it’s not likely to work.

                              This book can help you understand this lesson before you spend blood, sweat and tears on a project that you’re heart isn’t into.

                              Get the book here!

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                              Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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